Leadership: The Importance of Leveraging Your Team

One would think that having a team to do the work would make it easier for the leader. Unfortunately, it’s often not the case. Many leaders struggle to maximize their team’s potential.

One reason for this is that many leaders were promoted to a leadership role because of their stellar performance as team members. But after their promotion, they failed to make the jump from a “team member” to the “leader”. They continue to operate as team members when they should be leading the team.

As a consequence, instead of leading the work, they tried to perform the work: all of it. They confuse leading the team with making the team’s work for them. They failed to shift their mindset from being the person who performs the work to being the person who supervises the work. With the best intentions, they burn out, trying to do everyone’s work. They believe that that’s what it takes for the work to be up to standard (and for them to be a good leader).

Because they insist on continuing to produce results as they did when they weren’t in a leadership role (i.e. without relying on others), the potential of the team remains untapped, while the leader is losing their mind. Inevitably, the leader is ineffective. It’s to be expected; the demands of leadership are too great for leaders to do everything on their own.

Leaders must create an environment conducive to the team’s success and empower members of their team to perform at their best. They must trust their team and rely on the experience and expertise of their team members.

Your team has too many tasks to perform for you to do your team’s work. That’s not your role. Even if you think you would do a better job, you must learn to let go and let your team members do their work. You can’t make it otherwise.

Your role as the leader is to empower and equip your team members to do their work. If they’re not yet meeting your standards, it’s your responsibility to help them meet them.

As a leader (or manager), you’re not expected to get results all by yourself; you must get results through your team’s effort (combined with your own). Your role is to ensure the team is producing the results for which it exists, not to do everything.

To be an effective leader, you must shift your perspective from being the one who shines to being the one who helps others shine.

About The Author

Vladimir Elie

I help people learn and apply success principles and strategies so that they can get the results they want in life.